I remember a time a when a woman was really being abusive to me, not in a physical sense, but emotionally. I tolerated it year after year until one day it involved my children, and that was it for me. I drew the line!
At that point I became frustrated, and bitterness set in. A friend came to me, and she said, “Lindsay, you have every reason to be bitter.” And I thought, Wow! That justifies how I am feeling. Then she said, “But you have no right to be bitter, because Jesus Christ took that right away from you at Calvary. You may have a great reason, but according to the shed blood of Jesus Christ, you have no right to remain bitter.” Then she said, “It’s not up to that person to change; it’s up to you to release that person.”
That hit me like a ton of bricks, and I suddenly realized it didn’t matter if it was a small offense, a medium-sized one, an insult of words, a heinous crime, or whatever, it was just as wrong for me to carry it. I realized at that moment that I was the one who was guilty, and I asked God to forgive me.
Maybe you’re struggling with feelings of bitterness and unforgiveness toward someone who has offended you. Jesus said in Mark 11:25–26 that we must forgive to be forgiven. So I ask you from the bottom of my heart to release all bitterness right now. Whatever offense it is that you are carrying, the greatest way to set yourself free is to set somebody else free. Just say, “Father God, I refuse to carry bitterness toward that person. I refuse to harbor unforgiveness. Lord, I release them to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”